Archive for September 30th, 2009

Carnivals Galore! Plus some Excel.

September 30, 2009

First off, there was a Math Teachers at Play (the second #15) just about two weeks ago.  It’s hosted by Maria Droujkova of the Math 2.0 Interest Group.    There’s the usual assortment of great stuff, including a computer game that I really want to play, and some stuff on Wolfram Alpha (which I know is totally old hat, but I gave two of my classes the homework assignment to play on W|A for 20 minutes and email me the neatest thing they found, and I think that’s been their favorite assignment so far.  Plus one of my Math for Liberal Arts groups cited it in a project when a pattern of numbers got too big for their calculator.  I love Wolfram Alpha) and sites for special needs students.

So that’s one carnival.

And the next is the Carnival of Mathematics #58 at Walking Randomly, up this past weekend, with near integers and binary in baby toys and maps.  (And now the 9-year old is wondering why I’m listening to  Men at Work).   Even though it’s not in the Carnival, also check out the post about (-1)*(-1)=+1.]

This has nothing to do with the Carnivals, but do you want to know what I learned how to do on Excel this weekend?  Conditional formatting!  I use Excel for my gradebook and I usually highlight if a student gets below 70% on exams or projects.  In the past I’ve done this by hand — which isn’t too time consuming because we’re not talking loads and loads of people — but it turns out that you can highlight a group of cells, go to Format, and then Conditional Formatting, and then set it up.  I even got lazy and for a 32-point assignment I set it to highlight scores less than “=70%*32”.    I expect this isn’t news to many people, but since the first person I mentioned it to hadn’t heard of it, I figure that’s good enough reason to bring it up.  Thanks for showing me this Nicole!